SINGAPORE - A 23-year-old man who sprayed anti-government graffiti on a pavement was jailed for two months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane on Thursday.
Muhammad Qamarul Arifin Sa'adon, 23, had been with four accomplices who are also alleged to have taken part in the vandalism at Prinsep Link on Nov 5 last year.
He was the first among them to plead guilty to the crime, and was also fined $500 on another charge of stealing a $48 pouch at a Beach Road food centre. Two other vandalism charges were taken into consideration.
A district court heard that Qamarul, Danial Ryan Salleh, 25, Muhammad Fadzly Aziz, 21, Muhammad Redzwan Baskin, 26, and Muhammad Fitri Abu Kasim, 24, were chatting at a bus stop near Plaza Singapura when Danial Ryan said he received an overseas call from someone claiming to be from the Anonymous hacktivist group.
He told them the caller asked him to get a group to spray-paint a message backing its fight against the Singapore government.
After buying spray paint, Qamarul wrote "We Are One, We Are Legion, Expect Us!!" followed by the logo of TalkSickCrew - a clothing line started by Danial Ryan - on the pavement while the others acted as lookouts near Sunshine Plaza.
A nearby retailer reported the graffiti to police who launched an investigation.
The cases against the rest of the group are still at pre-trial conference stages.
Qamarul could have been jailed for up to three years plus three to eight strokes of the cane for vandalism. For theft, the maximum penalty is three years' jail and a fine.